The great structural changes of the English language in the course of its history are taught in this textbook by continuous reference to translations of identical Biblical passages, which date from different periods and are printed in parallel. Analysis progresses from spelling and phonology to inflexion, word-formation, syntax, lexicology and semantics and ends with a chapter on foreign influences. Description is consistently based on functional-structuralist methods which provide the best tool for the didactic aim here envisaged. The book is intended for an introductory course into English historical linguistics at university level.